US Army

The Last Escort Platoon Circa 1987THE U. S. Army Chemical Activity, Pacific, had its beginnings April 20, 1945, when the 267th Chemical Service Platoon was activated at Fort Richardson, Alaska, but the platoon was inactivated on Nov. 1 of the same year, primarily because of the end of World War II.

The platoon was activated in 1962 and assigned to the U.S. Army Depot, Okinawa. It became the 267th Chem. Company in 1965 and was reassigned to the 196th Ordinance Battalion, 2nd Logistics Command, Okinawa.

Thumper at Home

Thumper at Home

The U.S. government directed relocation of chemical munitions from Okinawa to Johnston Island in 1971. The initial phase of Operation Red Hat involved the movement of chemical munitions from a depot storage site to Tengan Pier, eight miles away, and required 1,332 trailers in 148 convoys. The second phase of the operation moved the munitions to Johnston Atoll.

Completion of cargo discharge from the USNS McGraw at Johnston Island on Sept. 21 completed Operation Red Hat, and the company completed redeployment on Sept. 27.

The company came under the 45th General Support Group in 1976 and was redesignated as Johnston Island Chemical Activity in October 1983. The unit was reorganized and activated as the U.S. Army Chemical Activity, Western Command, in 1985.

The unit was renamed the U. S. Army Chemical Activity, Pacific, in 1990, to coincide with the redesignation of U.S. Army, Pacific. Worldwide attention was focused on Johnston Atoll that same year, when chemical munitions were moved from West Germany, under the code name Operation “Steel Box.”

Merchant ships carrying the munitions left Germany in October and arrived at Johnston Island Nov. 6. Although the ships were unloaded within nine days, the unpacking and storing of munitions continued into 1991.

If you were assigned to the US Army Activity on JI, and have pictures, memories or stories to share with us, please email the webmaster.

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